Be grateful for your rowing – a life lesson after Katrina

I have a funny story of a girlfriend in my club wrote yesterday. She was visiting New Orleans  in USA….check out this story:

NOLAMississippiCruisships16Nov051
NOLAMississippiCruisships16Nov051 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One week ago I did a presentation at a conference in New Orleans. I always try to row when I travel and had contacted the New Orleans Rowing Club who shares facilities with Tulane University. I arranged to row in a 4x on Saturday morning.

It was an experience I’ll never forget—their boathouse and boats had been demolished during Katrina, so they were operating out of a fenced in area on the side of a bank. Their boats were donated boats—I don’t know that I’ve ever rowed in such a heavy boat. I don’t think I could have moved the foot stretchers if I’d wanted to!

We had to walk through 6 inches of muck to get up and over a bank taking us to the drainage canal where we rowed…….. it was mucky, full of garbage and stinky… and 2000 meters long… we rowed down and back—that was the workout! During the workout, we kept our eyes peeled for “wildlife”: alligators and snapping turtles!! It was absolutely wild……

As we were rowing, I was trying to be positive and make the most of it. I realized how these rowers are thankful for the equipment and conditions… After what they’ve experienced, they are truly survivors…

The clincher was when we got the boat on the racks, one of the guys said, “Welcome to 3rd world rowing!” SO well said…

We should be so thankful for the club, friends and equipment we have!

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